Smith’s, DEA host drive to gather unused prescription drugs

ST. GEORGE – This Saturday, Smith’s Food & Drug and the Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public with an opportunity to prevent pill abuse, and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Community members are encouraged to bring medications for disposal to the Smith’s store at 20 North Bluff Street in St. George from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Personal information may be blacked out on prescription bottles or medications may be emptied from the bottles into bins provided at collection areas.

In September 2012, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds — over a thousand tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.

“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” Smith’s Pharmacy Director Blair Woolf said. “Prescription drug abuse is a serious issue, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Utahns are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards. Many drugs cannot be removed by sewer treatment plants or septic systems and end up in our streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater and soil, and may cause harm to the environment.

Event details and contact information

Date: April 27

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Smith’s Food & Drug, 20 North Bluff Street, St. George

Admission: Free

Contact: Marsha Gilford – 801-973-1700

Submitted by: Smith’s Food & Drug

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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